Oppose Nursing Home Staffing Minimums
LeadingAge New York opposes this legislation which amends the Public Health Law to impose minimum daily hours requirements for nurses and certified nurse aides in nursing homes. It also requires the Department of Health to establish a range of civil penalties for facilities out of compliance with minimum staffing levels. LeadingAge New York opposes this legislation because its approach to ensuring appropriate staffing levels is ill-conceived and under-funded. The legislation fails to acknowledge the longstanding shortage of nurses and certified nurse aides (CNAs) that has only been exacerbated by the pandemic. Even if there were nurses and CNAs willing and qualified to fill the hours required by this legislation, the State has not provided sufficient funding to pay for them. We estimate that the full annual cost of this new requirement would exceed $260 million.
LeadingAge New York’s members recognize the critically important role that nurses and CNAs play in nursing homes. However, this proposal comes immediately in the aftermath of a State Budget that enacted minimum spending mandates on nursing homes, including requirements that homes spend at least 40 percent of revenue on resident-facing workers and 70 percent of revenue on direct resident care.
New York’s nursing homes cannot continue to absorb these mandates and remain viable. Even before the pandemic, New York’s Medicaid rates paid to nursing homes fell short of costs by $64 per resident day. The pandemic has only deepened the financial distress of our nursing homes, and the State has not made available sufficient funding to cover existing costs and losses, much less new staffing requirements.
LeadingAge NY’s full memo of opposition is available here: A.7119 (Gunther)/S.6346 (Rivera).
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